Its official: Rory McIlroy is now a Nike Athlete.
While I, like you, had previously though that Rory’s biggest goal was to win majors now, it seems, he wants to make history as a member of Nike’s stable of world class athletes. Well, I guess that’s one way to transcend the game, and to become far more than just another championship winning golfer.
Beyond adding to Nike’s legacy, why did Rory sign with the sports giant? After all, he said only last week that “I think all the manufacturers make great equipment nowadays and it’s all very similar. A lot of them get their clubs made at the same factories. I don’t think it will make any difference.”
Despite his protestations that he only plays for the “love of the game,” he is also in it for the money, and he will be receiving plenty of it as the deal has been pegged at anywhere from $100-250 million. Otherwise, why would he have messed with the winning formula (his game and his equipment) that produced a major (by 8 shots) and four wins in 2012, and a position far atop the World Golf Rankings?
Indeed, McIlroy may be right about the clubs that take him from tee to the green considering that he was not very accurate off tee in 2012 (he ranked 156th in fairways hit) and his GIR was not so great (he ranked 60th).
But the secret sauce that enables him to win is the ability to get hot with the putter. As a result, his switch from his trusty Scotty Cameron to a Nike Method putter is a major concession for the buck, and one that could cost him dearly if he has even the slightest doubt in his new wand on majors Sundays.